Public Policy Network

Helping You and Your Organization Engage in Policy Debates

FHLBank Pittsburgh's Public Policy Network (PPN) is a coalition of housing, economic development and financial industry advocates. Membership is free and includes invitations to events with members of Congress, monthly policy updates and quarterly conference calls featuring industry experts.

Public Policy Updates

Stay up-to-date on issues facing housing, economic development and the FHLBanks with Peter Knight's monthly policy updates.

November 2019

It is not unusual for political discussions and family Thanksgiving dinners to include the proverbial "800-pound gorilla in the room." The gorilla often represents a taboo topic that no one wants to discuss. This year, the gorilla is the impeachment efforts focused on the president. All indications suggest this very large primate is settling in for an extended visit. It will soon be eating all the holiday leftovers and dominating the remote control. How many reruns of Animal Planet can anyone take?

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September 2019

Many Americans have become numb or have tuned out Washington's nastiness and partisanship of the past few decades. Just when most probably thought things could not get worse, they got worse. And, partisanship in Washington will only get more intense with the House undertaking a series of investigations and considering the impeachment of the President. The last time Washington fought over the impeachment of a president (Bill Clinton), the party leading the effort suffered severe political losses. The time before that, the party defending the president (Richard Nixon) lost the next election.

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July 2019

Forty million people pass through Washington D.C.'s Union Station annually. They are tourists, business travelers and working locals using intercity trains, regional commuter rail lines, Washington's subway system or intercity buses. That makes 80 million eyes noticing the many ads in Union Station competing for attention. These ads sell doughnuts, pretzels, hamburgers, clothes, watches and the like. Some ads are directed at congressional, federal agency, association, think tank and media staff that are members of the Washington policy workforce and regularly pass through Union Station. A deeper scan of the content of these ads can reveal hot policy issues. The total number and prominence of the ads also indicate the high financial stakes in some policy debates.

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June 2019

If you think that Washington has a trade association for just about everything, you are correct. Consider this: as Americans enjoy fireworks this July 4 in backyards, neighborhoods, beaches and cities across the country, rest easy in knowing that the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) works hard for its members every day. The APA is currently opposing tariffs on imported fireworks, fighting to address burdensome regulation and doing just about everything else a good trade association does. This type of work on behalf of an industry lies at the heart of American democracy, which, on the Fourth, is celebrated with fireworks. Well done, APA!

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May 2019

You can identify a real English soccer fan (from either side of the pond) by the fact that they get as much pleasure in a defeat suffered by their most bitter rival as they do in the victory of their favorite team. This condition, known as schadenfreude, has manifestations beyond sports. Schadenfreude is broadly defined as the pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. On this topic, Wikipedia notes (if it is in Wikipedia, it must be true): "This emotion is displayed more in children than adults; however, adults also experience schadenfreude, but they are just better at concealing their expressions."

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April 2019

In Peanuts, the cartoon featuring Charlie Brown and his neighborhood friend, Lucy van Pelt, there were regular episodes of Lucy holding a football for Charlie Brown to kick. Though Lucy had - on every occasion - pulled the football from Charlie's path and squashed his best efforts to kick it, Charlie always held out hope that the next time would be different. Still, he continued to miss the withdrawn ball and end up flat on his back. He could not help it. Good old Charlie Brown.

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Peter E. Knight, Director, Government Relations

Peter Knight, who joined FHLBank Pittsburgh in 2002, is responsible for directing the Government Relations Department.
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Allison Karakis, Government Relations Manager
Office: 412-288-7302

Allison Karakis, who joined FHLBank Pittsburgh in 2015, manages FHLBank Pittsburgh in-district government relations program, the Public Policy Network.
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